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Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 2, by G.R.S. Mead, [1906], at



The superscription enunciates the nature of the treatise. It is evidently taken from the Dialogues to Tat, and originally formed part of some General Dissertation or of a collection of Dissertations.

It formed part of an instruction in which the Cosmos

p. 128

was treated of as “Second God,” as we find it also in Philo 1; but just as Philo guards against any idea of duality, so does our treatise when it ends with the words (§ 5):

“The source and limit and the constitution of all things is God.”

The Great Body of the Cosmos, the Sphere or Perfect Form, the root of all forms, seems to be bounded by the idea of the Æon or Eternity, or Deathlessness. It is, as it were, the Cave or Womb of all things in genesis, centred in the Pleroma of ideas, the Intelligible Cosmos, which is full-filled with the ideas of God (§ 3).


The eternal order and life of Cosmos is preserved by the law of apokatastasis or restoration (§ 4), the law of ever-becoming, and cyclic renewal, the making-new-again (ἀνανέωσις) of C. H., iii. (iv.) 1.

There is no question of loss of body,—this is an illusion; there is a privation of sense, a going into latency of some particular phase of consciousness.

There are then Great Lives—God, Cosmos, Man. Cosmos is made in the image of God, Man in the image of Cosmos. Therefore has Man sense and mind; by the former he is “in sympathy with” the Cosmos, as Body by the latter he is conscious of God as Mind,—that is the Bodiless. Or as we might phrase it, by sense Man knows the Sensible Cosmos, by mind the Intelligible Cosmos, the Good Mind; for God is Source and Limit and the Constitution of all things—the Cosmos, both Intelligible and Sensible, included.


128:1 Leg. Alleg., § 21; M. i. 82; P. 1103 (Ri. i. 113); Quæst. Sol., i. (quoted by Euseb., Præp. Evang., vii. 13). See in the “Prolegomena,” “Philo Concerning the Logos.”

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